Sustainable development vital to protect economies and environment – Ban

15 July 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated that humanity must give sustainable development greater attention, saying that the current model of using resources was putting a strain on ecosystems and exacerbating global warming, even as climate change remained a growing threat to people and economies worldwide.

“Our old model of growth is not only obsolete, it is also dangerous,” Mr. Ban said, speaking at a forum on sustainable development in Finland, where he also held a meeting with President Tarja Halonen.

He called for a revolution in favour of sustainable development in which a green economy is driven by business, supported by governments, and embraced by the people.

“Sustainable development is the top priority of the United Nations and the international community. We have to work to address climate change, the food crisis, energy shortages, water scarcity, global health, gender empowerment – all are interconnected,” Mr. Ban told reporters after his meeting with the President.

In response to a question on the UN’s response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the severe drought in the Horn of Africa, the Secretary-General said he was deeply concerned about situation.

“We have to help them, the people in Kenya, Somalia and other countries. Ethiopia, they are suffering a great deal because of this [drought]. I have convened a task force on global food security issues, and we are now mobilizing all necessary support. We have appealed for $1.6 billion,” said Mr. Ban.

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